The Ancient Library

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The number of his comedies is given at ten. We have the fragments in Meineke, Com. Gr&c. Frag., vol. i., p. 228, seqq., ed. min.

V. eupolis (EuTroAis)1 was born about B.C. 446, and is said to have ex­hibited his first drama in his seventeenth year, B.C. 429, two years be­fore Aristophanes, who was nearly of the same age with him.2 The date of his death is uncertain. The common story was, that Alcibiades, when sailing to Sicily, B.C. 415, threw Eupolis into the sea, in revenge for an attack which he had made upon him in his BaTrraj. But, to say nothing of the improbability of even Alcibiades venturing on such an outrage, or the still stranger fact of its not being alluded to by Thucydides, or any other trustworthy historian, the answer of Cicero is conclusive, that Era­tosthenes mentioned plays produced by Eupolis after the Sicilian expedi­tion.3 There is also a fragment still extant, in which the poet applies the title crrparr]j6s to Aristarchus, whom we know to have been o-Tparri-•y6s four years later than the date at which the common story fixed the death of Eupolis.4 He probably died in B.C. 411.

The chief characteristic of the poetry of Eupolis seems to have been the liveliness of his fancy, and the power which he possessed of imparting its images to his audience. This characteristic of his genius influenced his choice of subjects, as well as his mode of treating them, so that he not only appears to have chosen subjects which other poets might have despaired of dramatizing, but we are expressly told that he wrought into the body of his plays those serious political views which other poets ex­pounded in their parabases, as in the A^uo*, in which he represented the legislators of other times deliberating on the administration of the state. To do this in a genuine Attic old comedy, without converting the comedy into a serious philosophic dialogue, must have been a great triumph of dramatic art.5 The introduction of deceased persons on the stage ap­pears to have given to the plays of Eupolis a certain dignity, which would have been inconsistent with the comic spirit had it not been relieved by the most graceful and clever merriment. In elegance he is said to have even surpassed Aristophanes,6 while in bitter jesting and personal abuse he emulated Cratinus. Among the objects of his satire was Socrates, on whom he made a bitter, though less elaborate attack than that in the Clouds of Aristophanes.7 The dead were not even exempt from his abuse, for there are still extant some lines of his in which Cimon is most unmercifully treated.8 A close relation subsisted between Eupolis and Aristophanes, not only as rivals, but as imitators of each other. Crati­nus attacked Aristophanes for borrowing from Eupolis, and Eupolis, in his Bdirrai, made the same charge, especially with reference to the Knights. The scholiasts specify the last parabasis of the Knights as borrowed from Eupolis.9 On the other hand, Aristophanes, in the second (or third) edition of the Clouds, retorts upon Eupolis the charge of imitating the

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Anon., De Com., p. xxix.

3 Cic., Ep. ad Att., vi., 1. * Schol. Victor, ad II., xiii., 353.

5 Platan., p. xxvi. 6 Id. ib. 7 Schol. ad Aristoph., Nub., 97, 180.

8 Plut., dm., 15; Schol. ad Aristid.,p. 515.

» Schol. ad Aristoph., Equit,, 528, 1288.

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